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Immigration: Home secretary attacks judges who ignore law

The Home Secretary Theresa May has attacked immigration judges for ignoring guidance on deporting foreign criminals.

Now she has pledged to create a new law, allowing those who commit serious crimes to be automatically deported, reports the BBC.

Theresa May has attacked Britain's immigration judges for ignoring Home Office guidance on the deportation of foreign criminals saying that their decisions are making Britain a more dangerous place to live.

The new guidance issued last year sought to curtail the use of human rights law to keep immigrants who had committed crimes in the UK, on the basis that they have a right to a family life under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Article 8 rights are frequently cited in deportation hearings, with lawyers arguing that removing an individual from the UK denies them their right to their family, who often also live in the UK. Statistics indicate that around 150 to 200 foreign nationals who have committed crimes on UK soil avoid deportation each year by this method.

There were concerns expressed at the time that the guidance was issued that it would not be strong enough for judges to ignore previous case law. Labour previously said it would support a move to introduce a new law in Parliament, something that the Home Secretary now appears willing to do.

Writing in The Daily Mail, Ms May said that judges had wrongly decided that the right to a family life was not capable of being restricted.

"Unfortunately, some judges evidently do not regard a debate in Parliament on new immigration rules, followed by the unanimous adoption of those rules, as evidence that Parliament actually wants to see those new rules implemented."

Ms May went on to write that it was for the elected parliamentarians to make the laws, not the judges, and criticised those judges who had ignored the guidance.

Critics argue that the Home Secretary is simply jumping onto a populist bandwagon and warned that any changes may affect the independence of the judiciary.


Theresa May criticises judges for 'ignoring' deportation law (BBC News)